Animal experimentation to
Shiga Medical College introduces licenses for graduate students
and teaching staff (June 2004)
Starting from this year, Shiga Medical College will be introducing
a license examination for graduate students and teaching staff that
will be involved in vivisection.
In response to society being more aware of the welfare of animals,
this examination system aims at strictly controlling the handling
of animals and conducting animal experiments more appropriately.
This system is in common with universities in the United States
However, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and
Technology (the section in charge of arts and science) says, "We
have never heard of universities in Japan adopting this system and
we would like to consider promoting this system with other universities".
The license examination will be carried out by the animal experimentation
committee, consisting of the professors of the university (chair,
Tadao Baba, vice president).
Those who take the license exam will have to take an introductory
class in animal experimentation in addition to the course in the
Animal Life & Science Center of the university that is breeding
250 monkeys for ES cell experimentations.
Only after this are they permitted to take the 50 question paper
test relating to the handling of animals, including the use of anesthesia
In order to pass the exam they will have to correctly answer over
35 of the questions. Two types of exams are planned, one on how
to handle general types of animals used in experimentation such
as rats and rabbits and the other dealing with monkeys belonging
to the higher primate species.
Currently most Japanese universities do provide a course for those
who participate in animal experimentation.
Students and staff submit their experimentation plans to the animal
experimentation committee in their universities, and once it has
been approved they can then conduct their experimentations.
Shiga Medical College has been conducting over 200 experiments
per year in the same manner. Vice-president Baba says, "There
have been voices criticizing us for our abusing animals for experimentation
based on rough plans. We hope establishing the license examination
will result in improving the correctness of experimentation."